Sponsored by Forest Grove Economic Development
Home Back Issues May 2011 Businessmen once again invest in custom suits

Businessmen once again invest in custom suits

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Article Index
Businessmen once again invest in custom suits
Custom suits Page 2

By Susan Hauser

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the market for European custom suits is bursting at the seams. Bespoke tailors on London’s famed Savile Row are chalking up a huge surge in business, as are custom tailors throughout Italy, France and Britain.

 

Bespoke: Made from scratch. The suit pattern is made from the customer’s measurements and style preferences. Garments are partly or completely made by hand.
Made-to-measure: A standard pattern is altered to fit the customer. Numerous style options are available for a custom-made suit.
Ready-to-wear: Also known as off-the-rack or off-the-peg.
0511_SuitingUp
Mile Djuric, a made-to-measure specialist with the Kiton clothing company (left), and Jake Hanover of Mario's in downtown Portland review fabric swatches at a recent trunk show. Hanover is the director of made-to-measure clothing at Mario's. // Photo by Teresa Meier

Does this European bespoke trend translate into Oregon-speak? At Portland’s fine menswear shops, owners and managers briefly set aside their measuring tapes to share the news that yes, indeed, Oregon businessmen are again investing in their own suave style as the economy improves.

“We’re seeing a tremendous increase after a two-year drought,” says Tony Spear, owner of Este’s Men’s Clothing in Northwest Portland. “People were holding on to their clothes, so alterations were up. My tailor was making money, but we weren’t.”

Spear says business was off by 20% in 2007 and 2008, “and we were in better shape than most.” But it got even worse in 2009, dipping down 35%.

Now, he says, “There’s a huge resurgence in clothing sales because these guys didn’t buy stuff for two years.”

John Helmer III, third-generation president of John Helmer Haberdasher, reports the same at his store. “Sales of suits are way up, 47% above last year,” he says. “Of course, that’s from being kind of down.”

At Mario’s in downtown Portland, made-to-measure director Jake Hanover says men are apparently again willing to spend a considerable sum for a good suit. Even with an “entry-level” price of $1,400 for an Italian made-to-measure suit, Mario’s is seeing what could be called a boom — at least when compared to the past few years.

“Flat was the new up,” says Hanover, recalling the industrywide slump, when the recession brought losses from 35% to 50% to menswear specialty stores. “If you equaled the year before, it was a win. But now we’ve gone into a few quarters of actual gains — a steep enough slope that you could ski on it.”

 



 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 Bespoke Tailors manchesterGuest 2013-12-15 04:34:54
You may want to look for a seamstress or tailor who works close to where you live or work.Bespoke Tailors manchester the secret of many well-dressed people is that they take their moderately priced clothing .
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Interview: Dr. Mark Goulston

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 10, 2014
JustListenBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Pete Friedes

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

082714-thumb friedesbookTom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.


Read more...

Trends in business succession

News
Thursday, July 03, 2014
TrendsBY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.


Read more...

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS